Automated workflows in news production towards robot-assisted journalism

“Robot journalism” represents a shift towards the automation of journalistic tasks related to news reporting, writing, curation, and data analysis. Exploiting the abundance of news sources on the web, this technology offers new opportunities for easily creating content on a massive scale and covering events more quickly than a human ever could. However, we are far from automating the whole news production process, which includes the tasks of collecting information from sources, editing and publishing news.

StoryBot aimed to develop a news bot that would assist professionals in performing these tasks and synthesize them into a single application, without the need to change working environment or use different applications for each task. Apart from the creative parts of writing and editing a story, the process would be highly automated so that it could be performed quickly and with minimal intervention and effort by journalists. In this way, the journalists could have a set of ready-made sources on a subject of interest, already categorized, which they could use to write, edit and publish a story.

StoryBot was a collaborative project which consisted of four partners: CNA (Project Coordinator), Worldcrunch, ATC and NCSRD. ATC and NCSRD were in charge of the technical development, CNA and Worldcrunch tested and evaluated the final solution. The project started in January 2017 and had a duration of 21 months.

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